Friday, April 8, 2016

Veins and Stars

Elizabeth Bowen:

Callie reached out and put off her bedside lamp.

At once she knew that something was happening -- outdoors, in the street, the whole of London, the world. An advance, an extraordinary movement was silently taking place; blue-white beams overflowed from it, silting, dropping round the edges of the muffled black-out curtains. When, starting up, she knocked a fold of the curtain, a beam like a mouse ran across her bed. A searchlight, the most powerful of all time, might have been turned full and steady upon her defended window; finding flaws in the black-out stuff, it made veins and stars. Once gained by this idea of pressure she could not lie down again; she sat tautly, drawn-up knees touching her breasts, and asked herself if there were anything she should do. She parted the curtains, opened them slowly wider, looked out -- and was face to face with the moon.

-- "Mysterious Kôr," from Ivy Gripped the Steps. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1946.

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